The Republican Approach to Government: Authoritarian Rule

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Bfgrn, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    The Evidence Establishes, without Question, that Republican Rule Is Dangerous: Why It Is High Time to Fix This Situation, For the Good of the Nation

    By JOHN W. DEAN

    Friday, Oct. 31, 2008


    The Republican Approach to Government: Authoritarian Rule

    Republicans rule, rather than govern, when they are in power by imposing their authoritarian conservative philosophy on everyone, as their answer for everything. This works for them because their interest is in power, and in what it can do for those who think as they do. Ruling, of course, must be distinguished from governing, which is a more nuanced process that entails give-and-take and the kind of compromises that are often necessary to find a consensus and solutions that will best serve the interests of all Americans.

    Republicans' authoritarian rule can also be characterized by its striking incivility and intolerance toward those who do not view the world as Republicans do. Their insufferable attitude is not dangerous in itself, but it is employed to accomplish what they want, which is to take care of themselves and those who work to keep them in power.

    Authoritarian conservatives are primarily anti-government, except where they believe the government can be useful to impose moral or social order (for example, with respect to matters like abortion, prayer in schools, or prohibiting sexually-explicit information from public view). Similarly, Republicans' limited-government attitude does not apply regarding national security, where they feel there can never be too much government activity - nor are the rights and liberties of individuals respected when national security is involved. Authoritarian Republicans do oppose the government interfering with markets and the economy, however - and generally oppose the government's doing anything to help anyone they feel should be able to help themselves.

    In my book Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches, I set forth the facts regarding the consequences of the Republicans' controlling government for too many years. No Republican - nor anyone else, for that matter - has refuted these facts, and for good reason: They are irrefutable.

    The 'Tea baggers'

    The leading authority on right-wing authoritarianism, a man who devoted his career to developing hard empirical data about these people and their beliefs, is Robert Altemeyer. Altemeyer, a social scientist based in Canada, flushed out these typical character traits in decades of testing.

    Altemeyer believes about 25 percent of the adult population in the United States is solidly authoritarian (with that group mostly composed of followers, and a small percentage of potential leaders). It is in these ranks of some 70 million that we find the core of the McCain/Palin supporters. They are people who are, in Altemeyer's words, are "so self-righteous, so ill-informed, and so dogmatic that nothing you can say or do will change their minds."

    The Problem with Electing Authoritarian Conservatives

    What is wrong with being an authoritarian conservative? Well, if you want to take the country where they do, nothing. "They would march America into a dictatorship and probably feel that things had improved as a result," Altemeyer told me. "The problem is that these authoritarian followers are much more active than the rest of the country. They have the mentality of 'old-time religion' on a crusade, and they generously give money, time and effort to the cause. They proselytize; they lick stamps; they put pressure on loved ones; and they revel in being loyal to a cohesive group of like thinkers. And they are so submissive to their leaders that they will believe and do virtually anything they are told. They are not going to let up and they are not going to go away."

    While not all conservatives are authoritarians; all highly authoritarian personalities are political conservatives.
    Robert Altmeyer
     
  2. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    So is this your idea of something worth "engaging", Jethro?

    The unabashed Freudian projection in that heaping pile of manure is astonishing. :eek:

    Of course, the presumption that handing the whole gubmint over to authoritarian democrats is going to bear any better fruit is laughable, too.
     
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  3. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    As I said, you have no understanding OF authoritarianism...thank you for proving my point

    John Dean...

    For more than 40 years I have considered myself a ``Goldwater conservative," and am thoroughly familiar with the movement's canon. But I can find nothing conservative about the Bush/Cheney White House, which has created a Nixon ``imperial presidency" on steroids, while acting as if being tutored by the best and brightest of the Cosa Nostra.

    What true conservative calls for packing the courts to politicize the federal judiciary to the degree that it is now possible to determine the outcome of cases by looking at the prior politics of judges? Where is the conservative precedent for the monocratic leadership style that conservative Republicans imposed on the US House when they took control in 1994, a style that seeks primarily to perfect fund-raising skills while outsourcing the writing of legislation to special interests and freezing Democrats out of the legislative process?

    How can those who claim themselves conservatives seek to destroy the deliberative nature of the US Senate by eliminating its extended-debate tradition, which has been the institution's distinctive contribution to our democracy? Yet that is precisely what Republican Senate leaders want to do by eliminating the filibuster when dealing with executive business (namely judicial appointments).

    Today's Republican policies are antithetical to bedrock conservative fundamentals. There is nothing conservative about preemptive wars or disregarding international law by condoning torture. Abandoning fiscal responsibility is now standard operating procedure. Bible-thumping, finger-pointing, tongue-lashing attacks on homosexuals are not found in Russell Krik's classic conservative canons, nor in James Burham's guides to conservative governing. Conservatives in the tradition of former senator Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan believed in ``conserving" this planet, not relaxing environmental laws to make life easier for big business. And neither man would have considered employing Christian evangelical criteria in federal programs, ranging from restricting stem cell research to fighting AIDs through abstinence.

    Candid and knowledgeable Republicans on the far right concede -- usually only when not speaking for attribution -- that they are not truly conservative. They do not like to talk about why they behave as they do, or even to reflect on it. Nonetheless, their leaders admit they like being in charge, and their followers grant they find comfort in strong leaders who make them feel safe. This is what I gleaned from discussions with countless conservative leaders and followers, over a decade of questioning.

    I started my inquiry in the mid-1990s, after a series of conversations with Goldwater, whom I had known for more than 40 years. Goldwater was also mystified (when not miffed) by the direction of today's professed conservatives -- their growing incivility, pugnacious attitudes, and arrogant and antagonistic style, along with a narrow outlook intolerant of those who challenge their thinking. He worried that the Republican Party had sold its soul to Christian fundamentalists, whose divisive social values would polarize the nation. From those conversations, Goldwater and I planned to study why these people behave as they do, and to author a book laying out what we found. Sadly, the senator's declining health soon precluded his continuing on the project, so I put it on the shelf. But I kept digging until I found some answers, and here are my thoughts.
     
  4. Oddball
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    I understand authoritarianism just fine, and John Dean is still a leftist party man hack, like you.

    The answer to his question is all too obvious: Republicans are no more "conservative" (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean anymore) than you are a "Goldwater libertarian". And feel free to give up that pretense, as you are in fact nothing of the sort.

    Fact remains that the demopublicraticans are playing the game between the 40-yard lines and there is no difference in substance between the two.
     
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  5. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    The answer to my question: 'What do you believe the role of government should be' is NOT obvious and continues to be unanswered.

    Instead, you want to tell me what I do and don't believe...better look up the definition of pretense

    1. pretending or feigning; make-believe
    2. a false show of something
    3. a piece of make-believe.
    4. the act of pretending or alleging falsely.
    5. a false allegation or justification
    6. insincere or false profession
    7. the putting forth of an unwarranted claim
     
  6. ihopehefails
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    ihopehefails BANNED

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    My thoughts exactly.
     
  7. The Rabbi
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    The Rabbi Diamond Member

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    Do people ever get tired of beating the old stereotypes of Republicans as wife beating Christians who want to stand in everyone else's bedroom while they clip bond coupons for a living?
    None of those things is true. Not even remotely. But it is more true of Democrats than Republicans.
     
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  8. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.
    Daniel Patrick Moynihan
     
  9. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    What do you call a so called liberal agenda that strives to control via "good for you" social programs via draconian taxes and fines?
     
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  10. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    Name 'em
     

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